Summer is in full swing here in BC and we’ve been spending the last week in Vernon with family, enjoying the sunshine and spending lots of time together. Unlike most of my family trips, this one didn’t really have much of an itinerary, just lots of pool time and playing with cousins at the lake. I have to admit that I sometimes have trouble relaxing and just doing nothing for days at a time, but the kids do enjoy the downtime and we all needed a bit of time to unwind after a busy June.
I did manage to slip in a few activities, though, and our favourite was a visit to the Kangaroo Creek Farm in Lake Country, just north of Kelowna. It’s a small, privately run kangaroo sanctuary and what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in hands on fun. It’s run on donations with a suggested $5 donation per person and we felt it was a great value for the money.
As soon as you enter you’re met by an employee who explains the rules (no yelling, no running, only pet kangaroos on the back) and offers you a handful of kangaroo food if you’d like to feed them. There were about a dozen kangaroos and wallabies hanging around the grounds and the kids could approach them and interact with them the way you could never do in most zoos.
My favourite part, though, was the covered area off to the side with a row of chairs where you could take a turn holding a young kangaroo joey in a cute little cloth pouch. There were four or five babies, ranging in age from just out of the pouch to almost ready to be out on their own. The kids both loved the joey cuddle sessions and I went back three times. There was even a little albino baby.
After the kids were done with the kangaroo area we moved on to another part of the farm where they had an assortment of other animals in another enclosure. We saw emu chicks, which looked like regular baby chicks but were the size of chickens, pigs, parrots and sugar gliders. The kids were even allowed to hold the sugar gliders and they loved watching them jump from person to person.
Even though the Kangaroo Creek Farm was quite small we found a lot to see there and spent a good two and a half hours there enjoying the animals. A lot of the experiences there were quite unique and we felt it was an excellent half day out. The farm is open from 9am-2pm and also from 6-8pm in July and August. We went early and felt it was a good time to go since the animals were already getting lethargic and starting to retreat into the shade in the area roped off from the visitors by about 11am.
So if you’re ever in the Okanagan with kids and want to get away from the lake or the pool for a while, the Kangaroo Creek Farm is a great place to visit. Just be aware that your kids might be begging for a pet kangaroo by the time you leave!